February 16, 2011
When I was young, free and gormless many saturdays were wasted visiting record shops to add odd 45rpm additions to my collection. “Have you got Kevin Ayers’ After the Show?” or “Have you got The Jim Carroll Band’s People who died?” would usually be met with a blank look. Often I would visit the more specialised shops like Reddington’s Rare Records where a request for something like Johnny Restivo’s The Shape I’m in would usually be met with an affirmative.
The “thrill” of the chase has been replaced by the click of the mouse. It doesn’t take long to find that 1992 trance/dance instrumental by J.R.Hartley these days. But one aspect of “record collecting” that hasn’t changed whether you are in a shop or online is acquiring something unheard just because the title/record sleeve/price attracted your eye.
I recently happened upon the news that Gustavo Kupinski, guitarist with 1990s Argentinian rock group Los Piojos had died in a car crash in January of this year. At the back of my mind I recalled that a friend (despite not speaking spanish) once said they were in his list of top bands. I decided to investigate further. I believe their name translates as “Lice”. I don’t frequent record shops now so I’ve missed the chance to stand at the counter and say “Have you got lice?”. Their live 1999 album Ritual, now re-released as Ultimo Ritual with twice as many tracks was an eye-opener. The only way to describe it is as a cross between a pop concert and a football match. I’ve never heard a live concert before with so much audience participation. It sounds like literally everyone in the crowd joins in with every word of every single song played. You can see what I mean here whilst I return to the Amazon jungle to look for that book on fly fishing by Day V. Lateley.